Written by Lisa Marie Wark, MBA & Assoc.*,
Today, statistics suggest that there could be more than 24 million American citizens above the age of forty that suffer from cataract-related vision problems according to the latest Prevent Blindness America report. The report also states that cataracts are by far the most common cause of blindness and vision loss throughout the world. Nevada Eye and Ear is using the month of June as Cataract Awareness Month to draw attention to the need for everyone to make healthy eyes a priority.
What is a Cataract?
The best way to describe cataracts is a clouding of the lens of the eye that generally has a direct impact on a person’s ability to see. Though cataracts are typically more common in older people, and can emerge as a result of age-related issues, it's important to note that they can also be present at birth, as part of a condition known as congenital cataracts. Often times, people with cataracts describe the experience as having double or blurry vision, or difficulty seeing during the night. Cataracts happen when protein begins to build up within the lens of the eye, creating a sort of cloud in the vision. The cloudier you find that your natural lens starts to become, the more light will struggle to pass through it, resulting in vision loss and lack of clarity.
Cataracts as We Age
Adult cataracts generally develop painlessly and slowly, and Nevada Ear & Eye suggests that early diagnosis is a pivotal part of maintaining excellent eye health. A mild clouding of the eye is common after the age of 60, but often by the age of 75 cataracts have started to seriously affect your vision. Problems typically associated with cataracts include:
- Filmy, foggy, fuzzy, or cloudy vision
- Glare sensitivity
- Difficulty seeing in dim light
- Loss of intensity in color
- Double vision
- The presence of halos around lights
- Issues differentiating between color shades
How are Cataracts Treated?
The standard method of diagnosing cataracts is an eye exam and slit-lamp examination with Nevada Eye & Ear. It's useful to know that although cataracts are common, they are also relatively easy to treat with professional cataract surgery. This process requires a skilled surgeon to remove the lens in the eye that has deteriorated, and replace it with an IOL or intraocular lens. Millions of Americans undergo this treatment on a yearly basis, making it by far one of the most commonly conducted surgeries in the United States. Fortunately, the procedure itself only lasts for about twenty minutes, and most people are able to resume their regular activities fairly soon after the surgery. What's more, cataract surgery with Nevada Eye & Ear is one of the most effective and safest surgeries out there, with an overwhelming success rate. Listen to one of our patients share her life-chaing story after she received laser cataract surgery.
Can Cataracts be Prevented?
Unfortunately, there's no real way of preventing cataracts, however some health experts suggest that following a healthy lifestyle can slow its progression. Some ways that you might adapt your lifestyle for vision health include reducing your exposure to UV light, avoiding smoking, eating healthy foods, and keeping yourself equipped with proper eye protection to avoid long-term injury.
DISCLAIMER The opinions expressed in the newsletter article belong to the original author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or policies of Nevada Eye & Ear. The information provided at this site and specifically newsletters are for informational purposes and are not intended for use as diagnosis or treatment of a health problem or as a substitute for consulting a licensed medical professional The information contained in this Health Report is intended for education purposes only. It is intended t complement—not replace—the advice provided by healthcare providers.
*Lisa Marie Wark, MBA owns a social media agency and is a business development consultant with a concentration in medical spas and alternative clinics. Currently she is President of Lisa Marie Wark, MBA & Assoc., a business development and social media firm that provides physicians the necessary business tools to help them build or expand their practices into fee for service business models.